Weebles

Sometimes I wish I were a Weeble. That toy that can never completely fall over.

Yesterday, I had some setbacks, nothing I’ll bore you with here, but let’s just say I had some expectations and they were completely obliterated.

I don’t always bounce back easily from deflating events. But I’m doing okay today despite the occasional flicker of poor-poor-pitiful-me.

Tomorrow’s guest blogger will be a breath of fresh air and a reminder to me and hopefully to all of you, why we get out of bed every day. So I’m looking forward to introducing you to him. Many of you may know him already but I couldn’t be more excited that he’s actually taking a few minutes to stop by my little blog.

So that’s something to be happy about.

When the Weeble thought came to mind today, I remembered that about a year ago, I wrote an essay sharing my joy and love for the Weeble, and you’re likely to see that essay as part of a bigger collection in a book someday. That’s the plan anyway. But why the hell don’t I just run that essay right here, right now? Seems appropriate enough. Occasion almost calls for it.

And here’s an even more bizarre offering. You can also hear me read this essay by clicking here and listening to it read aloud on AudioBoo. (If you have any difficulty listening in Internet Explorer, you should find it works well in Mozilla Firefox.)

So pick your format. Either way, I hope you enjoy it, get a chuckle, think a bit and go on merrily with your day. And if you, too, are bouncing back, well, good luck, channeling your inner Weeble, too.

Happy reading!
ck

Weebles

Remember Weebles? They were these little two-inch high encased pear-shaped figures with no appendages whatsoever covered in a shiny plastic encasement and when you thumped them, they would bob to the side but never completely fall over. As I’ve gotten older, my shape has gotten progressively more and more WEEBLE-like. But best of all, WEEBLES were so tough and indestructible that they had their own little jingle. (Doesn’t everything that really matters?)

 

“WEEBLES wobble, but they don’t fall down…”

 

I remember singing along to it as a kid and thinking to myself, how cool would that be. No matter how powerful a gust of wind, how torrential a downpour, how mighty a wallop to the jaw, wouldn’t it be fantastic to have that ability to simply POP back up again with resilience, confidence and buoyancy?

 

We’re all a bit Weeble, aren’t we? Some of us may carry an extra long strand of the chromosome. Bouncing back: it’s an art form. Remember Nancy Kerrigan? Clearly the American Olympic Silver Medalist ice skater was equipped with her own WEEBLE DNA. She recovered and even prevailed following the wrath of Tonya Harding’s slugfest in Harding’s own bizarre and ultimately unsuccessful attempt to bridge the World Wresting Federation and professional figure skating by taking a hard whack at Kerrigan’s leg (you youngsters can look it up on Wikipedia).

 

While I have no bone-crunching personal attacks in my own history, I can point to plenty of occasions where it would have been really easy to channel my inner Fisher Price Little Person, succumb to the emptiness running through my core and topple over with one swift swat. But nope, I embraced my WEEBLE and the pain and lessons that tango with bad decisions about men, money, jobs and apartments, and prepared for that sideways dip, knowing that someday, the horizon would be a stationary, solid straight line again, once this annoying, gag-inducing sway back and forth finally came to an end.

 

I miss WEEBLES. Playing with them, I mean, which occasionally involved positioning them in death-defying, dangerous scenarios to see just how far I could go with testing that wobbling tenacity. Sure, WEEBLES are still around but how often have you seen a 42-year-old woman pull out her water bottle, laptop, Bluetooth and WEEBLES village at the table at Panera? Besides, they don’t really look and feel like the ones I remembered as a kid when Playskool first launched them in the early ‘70s. If you sneak off on your lunch break to the nearest Toys R Us, you’re bound to find them. That’s more than I can say for most of the things I loved and adored as a kid. Like so many things from my childhood, I have watched old playtime friends become extinct as children of later generations find other ways – often much more expensive ways – to entertain themselves. My play didn’t require a web domain, wireless network, password or credit card to initiate; just a little free time (another somewhat extinct commodity for 21st century tikes), some imagination and freedom to roam and play independently.

 

I remember as a child wondering: when will I finally “feel” like an adult, when would I just know the answer to…everything, whatever question that came up? So many topics seemed too complex to understand, so many processes looked too complicated to carry out. Surely, someday it will all make sense, I thought to myself as I pretend-drove from the backseat while my dad manned the real steering wheel. Everything was so much simpler in my pretend world where I drove everywhere (and quite well, I might add), bought and possessed anything I could possibly want (I just had to plant the picture in my brain and voila – instant ownership!) And best of all, I lived in a world where I could be a songwriter-rock star Monday, a famous actress or TV reporter on Wednesday, and by Friday afternoon, a teacher presenting my elaborately planned lessons on general psychology, English composition, basic math, or whatever other subjects I could expound on from the vast intellectual universe that was my bedroom bookcase – maybe letters F-G-H in Funk & Wagnall’s? And who was fortunate enough to fill my classroom? Why, a lumpy pile of corralled stuffed animals who astutely watched from the bed with fascination, reverence and silence, that’s who.

 

When could I just stop all of this pretending and embark on the real adventures, I frequently wondered. And you know what happened? I found out, but without any warning whatsoever.

 

Somewhere along the way, life stumbled into the picture and I went from playing housekeeper to actually becoming housekeeper (on those rare occasions when I actually keep house).

 

Somewhere along the way, my imaginary boyfriend who always sat beside me while I pretend-drove went from becoming my pretend fiancé and pretend husband to a real husband, and a really bad one at that. (The first one, that is. The second one thankfully turned out to be a keeper.)

 

Somewhere along the way, I went from a child to a student to an employee to a spouse and ohmigod, to a grown up. Too bad I didn’t reach the grown-up stage before first becoming an employee and spouse. I could have saved myself a tremendous amount of heartache and disappointment during those early years.

 

But much like information (and some fast food), life doesn’t always arrive in the most convenient order. Some unexpectedly become parents before graduates; others, soldiers before skilled career professionals; and still others, believers before inquirers or learned students. Sometimes the landscape looks an awful lot like one of those big Jumbo Pad Search-A-Word puzzles. There may be a word straight across here, and up and down over there, but to find the other word, you’ve got to look diagonally and this one is so tucked away in the corner, you probably won’t even find it. And that other one? Forget it. It’s going backward instead of forward. Much of the time, you might not even know what you’re looking for until after it’s been here and gone.

 

So when does that moment arrive when truth shines so brightly it makes your eyes water, and decisions no longer seem like obstacle courses to navigate while your ankles are tied up for a three-legged race?

 

I’m still waiting, but I won’t sit quietly.

 

Latest News about THE MUSE UNLOCKED and Book Teasers Roundup

Is it really Thursday already?

Oh my.

This week has been a blur in every sense of the word.

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-depressed-young-woman-sitting-chair-image17413285

I won’t keep you long. Your day is almost over. For some of my friends on the other side of a big pool of Atlantic water, the evening’s already winding down.

I get that. I too am ready to call it a day. Except for that big pile of work sitting on my desk. Maybe if I just go in the other room and sit elsewhere I can casually forget about it.

Yeah. I know. That doesn’t really work. Not for long, at any rate.

I have some updates on the book front to share with you, as I continue to gear up for a JUNE 2013 release of my first book, a contemporary romance novel THE MUSE UNLOCKED.

I have a final cover… oooooooh! Now it’s just a matter of time and manner to unveil. I’m whipping up a little plan and hope to have that to share with you soon. Covers take time – finding just the right image, the right feel to convey what this book is all about, and this one didn’t veer off that usual path but now that it is done, I can tell you: I am quite excited about it and can’t wait to show you the final design!!

Ooh, and I’m hearing some lovely exclamations coming from my editor’s office, so this could be encouraging. She’s already indicated that she had a hard time focusing on proofing during one of the scenes because she – ahem – got distracted in the moment. That sounds promising to me! 😉 And all a writer can ever ask for! I should be able to do any clean up for the book over the next week or two, and make it available to you as an e-book by late May or June 1 as planned. Fingers crossed!!

And I’m very excited that I get to meet tomorrow with a wonderful person who is going to help me figure out the best way to share Cate and Oliver with the world, and there will be many cool things to tell you about happening over the next few months so stay tuned for all of that news as it becomes available.

I’ve had a few people ask me about book teasers. Some missed my earlier blogs during which I shared four different snippets from the book over the course of last month and this month.

So to make it more convenient,  I thought I’d share those links here again so you can go right to the blogs easily and scroll down to check out the teasers if you haven’t already. May is nearly here and something tells me that I may wish to share a little something else with my friends…more on that to come!

 

BOOK TEASERS FOR THE MUSE UNLOCKED

Teaser #1 – Introducing…Oliver and Cate

Teaser #2 – …Another Book Teaser for You

Teaser #3 – Big Cheers, Small Victories and Book Teasers

Teaser #4 – Overjoyed…Spilling Over (Teeny-Tiny Itsy-Bitsy Excerpt)

Tomorrow, I’m excited to invite another talented guest blogger to take the keys and drive this spaceship for the day as my special guest as part of CHRIS’S CORNER. This week, we’re celebrating…”them.” You know ’em. The wild ones, the rebels, the ones who feel it necessary to go it alone with an independent streak running down their back.

The Indie Author. Mmm-mmm-mmm. My new genus species that I myself have recently adopted!

You won’t want to miss it. Have a good night, folks. Settle in, put your feet up, catch up on some blogs, check out those teasers for some titillating moments and we’ll talk again…tomorrow.

Happy reading!
ck

Overjoyed and Spilling Over

I’m going to quote one of my favorite contemporary romance authors M. Leighton and an exclamation found frequently sprawled across her Twitter and Facebook pages.

YAAAAHOOOOOO!

Yep. That about covers it.

The damage has been done.
The road has been traveled.
The email has zoomed outta there, from drafts to sent folder.
No turning back now.

The plump lady has sung, and in this case read, re-read, tweaked, paced, read, re-read some more, slept on it (literally) and quite possibly, done everything else she can other than roast, steam, rotisserrie or fondue the original draft of her first novel. It is now officially in the editor’s hands to wield whatever powerful magic spoon she has to whip up something tasty and decadent.

For the next several weeks, I must put that part of the job out of my mind and focus on all of the other fun pieces that go along with it…like website elements, book covers, playlists (yes, you can definitely count on that from this music-loving maniac), marketing and more.

In the meantime, I’m feeling generous. Here’s an ever-so-brief little passage from a phone conversation between Cate and Oliver. A short but sweet book teaser…just for you.

Happy reading!
ck

A TEENY-TINY, ITSY-BITSY EXCERPT FROM
THE MUSE UNLOCKED
COMING JUNE 2013

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Both became silent. She adjusted her position in the tub, and water slipped over the rim.

 “Are you taking a bath?”

 “Um. Yes.”

 Oliver let out a long exhale. “You realize I’m not going to be able to let you hang up now.”

 “Why?”

 “Because if I were there, I would be kissing your lips…licking your neck…sucking on your breast…stroking your thighs…and many other incredible things in that general vicinity.”

 Cate sat up in the tub, a smile curling up the ends of her lips. “Mr. Sand, are you trying to seduce me?”

 “Would you like me to seduce you?” he whispered hoarsely.

Cate chuckled. “I love The Graduate. Wait a second. Are you Mrs. Robinson in this scene? Good for you playing against type.”

“I do what I can.  So what can I do for you, beautiful?”

 

Morning Book Morsels for 02.02.13

I have been missing in action, haven’t I? I’m sorry…

From the blog, yes, I have been,  but from books – mine or others – hell, no, I’ve been as obsessed as ever. In fact, I thought this might be a good time to pass along some updates.

  • BOOK UPDATE FROM ME – So if you’ve been following along here or on my previous blog, you know that I’ve been working on my first novel, a contemporary romance.  I’m happy to say that I am now officially two-thirds of the way through the story (about 70,000 words)! I am also thrilled to report that I seem to have located my book editor and can’t wait to work with her. She and I met together for the first time this past week, and I truly believe we’ll make a great team. Most exciting of all, it was the first time that anyone else has laid eyes on Cate Mullen and Oliver Sand —their first four chapters, at least! — and I was thrilled to introduce her to them and their story just as I cannot wait to introduce them to you!http://www.dreamstime.com/-image23685146There are a lot of tasks (many thrilling and many daunting) still at hand but as long as the content itself flows steadily and I’m able to tackle these other very relevant elements and decisions as I go, I say I’m still on schedule for a summer release. The “exactly when” may still be a bit of a mystery (even if the book isn’t that genre), but ever the optimist when it comes to this, I’m going to stick with June 2013 for now and continue aiming for that! I will keep you posted. If you’d like to stay in the loop on its release, become a subscriber to this blog today to get the latest news of when it will be available and for those in the Tampa Bay area about any special launch events held locally or online.
  • E-BOOK RELEASES FROM OTHERS – Can you believe it? We’re finally just days away from two hotly anticipated releases?  On February 5, readers can check out e-books from rock erotica writer Olivia Cunning with her fourth Sinners on Tour installment Hot Ticket (can’t wait!) and Sylvia Day‘s A Lush Kiss of Surrender, a novella in the Renegades Trilogy (which I will admit I have not read yet). Having just read the three other Cunning novels merely weeks ago, I am on pins and needles awaiting the latest rock romance even though I understand paperbacks are already out there and available in some places. But I have become a Kindle convert and so I shall wait it out…gasp…another three days. Oh the horror…
  • TEASERS, TEASERS, AND MORE TEASERS – Many authors have been dazzling us these past couple of weeks with teasers. If you’ve missed the links, maybe I can catch you up right here. For teasers to the still untitled book 3 of the Gabriel trilogy from Sylvain Reynard, check out the author’s most recent blog here where he includes links to the specific book bloggers hosting his two previous teasers. And let me tell you, they are so very worth the effort to locate. Trust me. Mmm……S.C. Stephens, who has all of her fans (this one included!) panting as they wait eagerly for the return of sexy rocker Kellan Kyle and his band, has been kind enough to hold up her end of the bargain following a successful Facebook campaign and share the release of not only chapter 1 but most recently unveiled chapter 2 of the third and final installment of her series Reckless. Dig in, fans, if you dare. I, myself, am afraid it will be like a really fine chocolate or moscato and just leave me wanting more and have opted to hold off until the whole book is available, March 5. Sigh. Yes, perhaps I am a bit of a Joan of Arc. So shoot me. (Or perhaps hoist me up and set me on fire would have been more accurate here…) Oh, and if you’re truly a Kellan fan (who isn’t and if not, are they a zombie then?), you may also want to check out an extra-special Kellan-POV version of Chapter 6 of the original book in the trilogy Thoughtless, which Stephens also recently shared as a special thank you to readers……And one final teaser, if you happened to miss it. It’s short and sweet but we’ll take what we can get when me miss our favorite book characters, won’t we? Jamie McGuire released a third teaser prior to the early April release of Walking Disaster at her blog, so be sure to check it out if you’ve waited far too long for the return of one Mr. Travis Maddox.
  • Finally, while I perhaps have been a bit lazy as a blogger, my reading habits have stayed loyal and true, I assure you, and so has my commitment to review everything I read starting this year. You can check out all of my recent book reviews at GoodReads.com by clicking here. In particular, some recent reads like Jodi Ellen Malpas’ This Man and its follow-up Beneath This Man, as well as Shelly Crane‘s Significance series, Jay Crownover‘s Rule, M. Leighton‘s Up to Me and Tiffany Reisz‘s The Prince left very distinct impressions…and not always matching the consensus of other readers. And hey, if you too are an avid reader, particularly in the romance or erotica genres, reach out to become my friend on the site or subscribe to follow my reviews. I have a little over 20 already written (yes, it HAS been a busy reading year!) and I may be able to offer some insight before you make the purchase. And I promise that I’ll never spoil it for you as a reader but may point out some aspects to the style of the book that you either love or hate, so I could you save you some moula or frustration. Just stop by my page on GoodReads and let’s crack open a merlot, shall we?

Happy reading!

ck

Your Handy Guide to Future Book Releases

For those of you as swept up in the adventures of some of our favorite mutual authors, I thought I would provide a public service in the form of a convenient, at-a-glance guide to upcoming follow-up book releases. I’m always struggling to remember what is supposed to come out and when as I chat with other fans of these books.

This by no means covers the entire contemporary romance/erotica genre – just a dozen or so authors that I read consistently, and from my interaction with some of you on this blog, Twitter and GoodReads, several of you do, as well.

Keep this list handy as you await opportunities to pre-order and download. And keep in mind that the dates may not reflect when all formats of the book will be available (that is, Kindle vs. Nook vs. paperback, etc.) But if it’s available in some form or another, that’s certainly a wonderful start!

From time to time, I plan to update this list and post for fellow fans. We wouldn’t want to miss out on a new book that’s available for pick-up or download, would we? I should think not.

Most of this information has been pulled from the authors’ websites or current listings on Amazon.com. Otherwise, I didn’t speculate. I won’t do that. It’s far too tempting, because if I could, I’d make all of them have a release date of…um…let’s see Friday, January 19, 2013 maybe? Works for me!

For those authors whose books do not have an official release date or title yet announced, please feel free to share that information if this is no longer the case. I will happily update that info right here. I might even skip or do a jig for you. Seriously. 🙂

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Oh, and once I have a release date for my own first book, tentatively JUNE 2013 (fingers crossed!), I will be posting that here, as well. Of course. I’m not a completely silly and senseless woman.

Happy reading!

ck

BOOK FOLLOW-UPS ~ RELEASE DATES
– as of 1/17/2013 –

Olivia Cunning HOT TICKET Fourth release of the Sinners on Tour Series (previously Backstage Pass/Rock Hard/ Double Time)  February 5, 2013
Sylvia Day A LUSH KISS OF SURRENDER Novella in Renegade Angels Trilogy  February 5, 2013
S.C. Stephens RECKLESS Follow-up to Thoughtless/Effortless  March 5, 2013
Jamie McGuire WALKING DISASTER Follow-up to Beautiful Disaster from Travis’s POV April 16, 2013****expected to be moved to 2wks earlier after FB campaign 
Sylvia Day ENTWINED WITH YOU Follow-up to Bared to You/Reflected in You  May 7, 2013
Samantha Young DOWN LONDON ROAD Follow-up to On Dublin Street  May 7, 2013
Rebecca Donovan OUT OF BREATH Follow-up to Reason to Breathe/Barely Breathing June 2013
Tiffany Reisz THE MISTRESS Fourth release of the Original Sinners Series (previously The Siren/The Angel/The Prince)
July 30, 2013 
Olivia Cunning SNARED Fifth release of the Sinners on Tour Series Fall 2013
J.B. McGee FORGIVEN  Follow-up to Broken/Mended

2013 – date not yet announced

M. Leighton WITH CASH Follow-up to Down to You/Up to Me Not Yet Announced
Sylvia Day A TASTE OF SEDUCTION Final installment in Renegade Angels Trilogy  Not Yet Rescheduled
Sylvia Day STRIPPED DOWN Follow-up to All Revved Up Not Yet Announced 
Sylvain Reynard title not announced
(aka GABRIEL BOOK 3)
Follow-up to Gabriel’s Inferno/Gabriel’s Rapture Not Yet Announced